Mounting tires on a mountain bike wheel is a process that can be done by following a few simple steps. Mounting the tire on the rim of the wheel is necessary to inflate it and allow for rolling while cycling. Replacing your mountain bike wheels but unsure of which ones you need to get? Let me give you a hand with that one. Before you can go ahead and change the wheels, you need to know which ones you have and what the options are for you, or you could be stuck. You may be wondering, how do I work out the width and diameter of my tires? What mountain bike wheel sizes are there? How do I find out what size I need?
To summarise, Mountain bikes come in 26 inches, 650b (27.5 inches), 29inches, and 27.5+. You probably have one of these on your trusty Mtb but may need a little help identifying it. From identifying your tire markings to measuring the diameter and width of your wheels, here is everything you need to know about the wheels on your mountain bike wheels.
Bike Tires Explained
How do you determine the diameter of a mountain bike wheel? When it comes to determining the size of your bike tire, there are two key factors to consider. The largest value is the tire diameter, which is commonly measured in inches. You can choose from a variety of diameters. Tire width is a lesser value that is likewise measured in inches. Normally, it falls between 1.75 and 2.215. The ISO, which stands for International Organization for Standardization, is the international measurement used for any bike. The ISO number is a standard that measures width and edges inner diameter (or bead seat diameter) in millimeters. The ISO and measurements are etched on one side of the tire of your bike, making it easy to locate.
4 Step to Measure the Size of a Mountain Bike Wheel
A mountain bike wheel is the most important part of the bike because it determines how your bike will feel. If you’re not comfortable on your bike, then you’re not going to enjoy yourself. The wheel size is usually measured by millimeters or inches (different manufacturers use different systems). There are three main factors that go into determining the size of a mountain bike wheel: rim height, rim width, and tire diameter.
Let’s take a look at how to measure the total wheel size, including the tire and rim diameter. When we say 26 inches, 27.5 inches, or 29 inches, we’re talking about wheels, not tires. This refers to the thickness and rim diameter of the tire as a whole, so if you can’t see these figures on the tire, you’ll have to physically measure them.
Step 1 – Read Your Tires
Look for a set of numbers printed on the tire itself on the side of either the front or back tire. Most of the time, you’ll see numbers like 26 x 1.5 Inches or something similar. This measurement indicates that the wheel is 26 inches in diameter and the tire is 1.5 inches in diameter.
The benefit of this strategy is that it is simple to understand. Despite the fact that these measures are engraved on the tire, they represent the complete size of the tire, including the wheel rim. This is the most common method of determining your wheel size. If you can’t see those numbers, proceed to the next steps to establish the correct wheel size.
Step 2 – Secure the Wheel
Step 2 involves securing the tire and rim together. It’s probable that you won’t be able to accomplish it alone, so you’ll need assistance or to lie flat against the wall. Whatever method works best for you.
Step 3 – Grab a Tape Measure
Step 3 entails aligning a yardstick against the bike tire’s outer end in a straight line. After that, measure the tire and rim lengths with a measuring tape. Take a measurement between these two spots. When measuring the widest point of the wheel, set the measuring tape on top of the axle. To double-check that you’re receiving the right measures, press the measuring tape end against the yardstick.
Step 4 – Determine your Size
The fourth and last step is the most important. Check the readings at the yardstick’s opposite end of the measuring tape. The length of a normal mountain bike wheel is 26 inches. Some are 27.5 inches long, while others are 29 inches long.
Measuring the Tire with Standard Technique
To ensure a satisfying bike ride, it’s essential to measure the tire size accurately. Our 11 Hacks to Make Shoes Smaller article provides valuable insights into measuring the tire with a standard technique. This will help you buy the right size tire to improve your biking experience.
Maintaining the Bike’s Upright Position
So, how do you determine the size of a bicycle wheel? The most common method for determining a bike’s tire size is the conventional procedure. Use a kickstand or lean your mountain bike against a wall to keep it upright. When your bike is upright and won’t tip over into you, you can measure the bike wheel. Instead of using plastic tape to measure your bike, you can use retractable metal tape. You can use a plastic measuring tape if you have someone else to assist you.
Calculate the Distance between the Center and the Ground
To begin, measure the distance between the center of your wheel and the ground beneath the tires. Throughout the measurement process, use only inches to keep the measuring units consistent. As a result, you won’t have to waste time doing conversions. The radius of the wheel, which is also half of its diameter, will be the measurement you’ll use here. By increasing the radius by two, you can get the diameter. With the exception of BMX bikes, most adult mountain bike wheels are between 26 and 29 inches in diameter. If you have your tires mounted, you may find the measurement on the sidewall of your tire.
To determine your mountain bike wheel size, you need to calculate the distance between the center and the ground. You can find the height of the center of your bike by measuring the inseam. Check out this inseam measuring guide for easy ways to measure your inseam accurately and effortlessly.
Measure the Width of the Flat Section of the Tire
It’s time to take a measurement across the flat section of the tire. It indicates that you will measure the tread from one side to the other. The distance here refers to the tire’s breadth, which might vary depending on how the tire is used on different terrains. Because it has to deal with uneven terrain, a mountain bike’s tread will be thicker than a road bike’s. The thicker and wider tread will provide superior grip and stability on difficult terrain. Furthermore, narrower treads are beneficial for smoother and faster rides.
Put the diameter of your tire first, then the width. In traditional tire measurements and dimensions, the diameter comes first, and the width comes second. For example, if a tire’s size is listed as 29 x 2.25, the tire is 26 inches wide and 2.25 inches thick across the tread. This is the conventional method of determining the size of your bike tire, and it works with nearly all types of bikes. So, you won’t have to wonder, “How do I know my bike wheel size?” anymore.
The ISO Method for Measuring Tires
Check to Check If this Method was Used to Measure Your Tire
The International Organization for Standardization establishes a second technique of determining wheel size on a bicycle. The wheel size for the bike is measured in millimeters in this method. If you don’t have a measuring tape with metric rules, remember that one inch equals 25.4 millimeters and use a calculator to get the width by multiplying inches by 25.4.
ISO sizing is one of the most dependable methods for measuring your bike tires in the privacy of your own house. This is because these figures will provide you with the most precise tire size measurements. The ISO and standard techniques are used to measure the majority of tires. Make sure the tire’s size is printed on the sidewall before purchasing it. As a result, you can select the most appropriate option based on your requirements.
Rear Derailleur Adjustment
Maintain the bike’s upright position. So, how do you determine the size of your mountain bike wheels? It can be leaned against a wall or propped up on its kickstand. Then, from the wheel’s center to its inner edge, measure the size in millimeters. The diameter of your tire is calculated by multiplying this amount by two, as it represents the radius in millimeters.
Most adult bike tires fall within the ISO system’s 650 mm to 700 mm range. This method takes into account both the BSD (bead seat diameter) and the width of the tire in millimeters. A 700x35c tire, for example, has a 622 mm bead seat diameter and a 35 mm width. As a result, the ISO number assigned to it will be 35-622. A 26 x 2.00-inch tire will have a 559 mm bead seat diameter at the same time. And the ISO code for it will be 50-559.
In Millimeters, Measure the Width
To measure the tire size from one side to the other across the tread, use the steps outlined above. Keep in mind that if there is a tiny difference in width, tires of different widths can be used on the same bike wheel.
To get the accurate size of you bike wheel, it’s essential to measure the width in millimeters. Check out our article on determining seatpost size. Knowing the different types of seat posts and its sizing options can help you in adjusting your bike to make your ride more comfortable.
Mention the Breadth, then the Diameter
Unlike old ways, ISO standards list the breadth of your tire first, followed by its diameter. As a result, you must first examine the numbers. Then, look to see if the tire size is listed in ISO or standard format. The wheel is 39 x 700 mm in dimension, and 39 mm wide, with a diameter of 700 mm measured from the outside edge. The diameter of the bead seat will be 622 mm. The diameter of a bike tire with a dimension of 29 x 2.25 inches is 29 inches. In comparison, the tread width of the normal technique is 2.25 inches.
Buying a Tire for Your Mountain Bike
Now that you know what size wheels you need, how do you go about choosing the right tire for your mountain bicycle wheel for your ride? First of all, make sure that you’ve measured the distance from the axle assembly, in other words, the hub and the outer edge of the bike tire’s rims or bead.
Next, check if you have this measurement in inches or millimeters. Make sure you measure correctly. For my bikes, the tire size will need to be in inches. Here’s a tip- take a look at a bike chart and match this measurement to the appropriate rim size. Now you need to find the right tire size for your rim size by looking at the sidewall of the tire. There you will see the size is written, for example, 26 inches (tire diameter) x 1.75 (tire width), so 26 x 1.75.
The tire you pick up needs to match the first number on your tire needs to your rim size. Then select the tire based on your preference. A lot of bikes will have a width of 1.95 inches for cross country riding, or you can use 2.35 for downhill riding. Have a look at the style of mountain biking you do to select your tires, and it can make a big difference.
Differences between Wheel Size
Since mountain bike riders often want to travel on varied terrain, they usually have a choice in wheel size. This allows them to select the best tire for different conditions. The most common sizes are 26 inch, 27.5 inch, and 29-inch wheels. Each of these has pros and cons that are highlighted below: With all of these sizes in mind, you need to determine your preference for wheel and ride style. Maybe you’re thinking of buying a new bike, so which size should you go for?
The Benefits of 26-Inch Wheels
Why do you need a 26-inch wheel size? These are the most popular, and their main advantage is that spares are very easy to come by as compared to other sizes. They possess the following characteristics. Their weight, stiffness, and strength can all be easily adjusted. In comparison to other sizes, their spare parts are quite inexpensive. Larger wheels are more difficult to maneuver on rocky terrain.
While 26-inch wheels used to be the standard for mountain bikes, they still offer many benefits today. They are lightweight, provide great maneuverability, and are ideal for shorter riders. If you’re looking to find out what size person should ride a 26-inch bike, check out this complete guide to 26-inch bikes for different sizes.
The Benefits of 27.5-Inch Wheels
What you need to know is that these wheels are not quite 27.5 inches in diameter but are closer to 27 inches. This makes them easy to flick and accelerates your journey faster. They’re also appropriate for tough terrain. There are also some other characteristics. Lightweight, these wheels are quite lightweight. As a result, they are easy to maneuver. You can skate them with ease regardless of the terrain.
Lightweight bikes are easier to transport, and it is also much easier to lift the bike because of their lightweight. This is especially true if you want to repair it because taking your bike into shops for repair jobs could be quite hard otherwise. When you accelerate, you go faster. They’re more rigid and durable than the 26-inch wheels. Their tires, wheels, and other spare parts are more difficult to come by.
The Benefits of 29-Inch Wheels
These are the largest and, in comparison to other sizes, are difficult to utilize on pump tails. Some of their distinguishing characteristics are as follows:
- The larger wheels are smoother and more stable than the smaller ones. Traveling the cross country is easier than with 26-inch wheels. The 29ers are more rugged, leading to less frequent breakdowns than 26-inch wheels.
- Tires are not as important for this wheel size since the ride is smoother and faster, even with tires of mediocre quality. The larger wheels offer better protection against damage inflicted by obstacles along the way. As a result, they are more maneuverable on uneven terrain. With slower movement, short riders will find it more difficult to use.
One of the benefits of 29-inch wheels is the improved rolling over drops and obstacles encountered on the trail. Check out our Bike Tire Size Chart for Mountain, Fat and Road Bikes to learn about other wheel sizes and their advantages.
The size of the wheel is one of the most significant factors to consider when purchasing a mountain bike. Everyone, in my opinion, should learn how to measure their bicycle wheel. Wheel size is significant not just for changing tires but also when deciding which bike to buy and which cycling style you prefer.
Whether you’re searching for fast tires or tires with a lot of traction, the wheel size might make a big difference. If you’re looking for a bike with more power, riders should go for one with short wheels, such as those with 26-inch wheels. Another advantage of working with them is that spare parts are easily available and inexpensive. Larger wheels, on the other hand, are excellent for individuals looking for cross-country mountain bikes due to their stability. I enjoy testing out different wheel sizes, and now that you know how to measure your mountain bike wheel, which size will you try out?
Can standard tires be used on a mountain bike?
No, they have nothing to do with each other. Your mountain bike rims come in a variety of widths, but some are solely suitable for mountain biking. It will mostly be determined by the size of your present mountain bike.
How do I choose a mountain bike tire?
It depends on the type of riding you undertake. For cross-country riding, I recommend focusing on climbing efficiency and using fast, lightweight wheels. Choose general all-around tires with good traction, durability, and speed for trail riding.
Is it true that bigger tires are better?
They have advantages and disadvantages. Wider tires have higher traction on the ground in dry circumstances than narrow tires. They also provide additional stability, but are less suitable if you want to travel quickly or need something light.
If you’re wondering whether bigger tires are better for your mountain bike, check out our article on tire tips for load capacity and weight considerations. Understanding these factors can help you choose the right size tire for your mountain bike to handle the terrain you’ll be riding on, whether it’s rocky, sandy, or muddy.
Should I get 27.5″ or 29″ mountain bike tire?
If you’re looking for speed, 27.5 tires are more superior for acceleration and are lot lighter. If you ride more rugged trails, however, the 29 tires provide superior traction and attack angle than the smaller tires. They will, however, be a little heavier and slower.
How much do mtb tires cost?
Mountain bike tires are slightly more expensive than conventional road or hybrid cycle tires. They can cost anywhere from $30 to over $100. However, I would recommend investing in a high-quality pair because they will last you a long time before needing to be replaced.
When it comes to purchasing new mountain bike tires, prices can vary significantly based on factors such as tire width, tread pattern, and materials used. On average, a good quality MTB tire can cost anywhere from $30 to $70. You can also opt for more expensive tires with enhanced features such as puncture resistance and improved traction. Check out this guide to learn more about measuring mountain bike wheels before buying new tires for your ride.
How do I determine which mountain bike size to buy?
Look for standover heights that are specified and compare them to your inseam. Within the specified ranges, the difference between your inseam and standover height should be.
Hold the tape measure’s end near the bicycle wheel’s center and extend the tape in a straight line to the tire’s outside border. To find the bike tire diameter using standard sizing, multiply the inches by two.
How tall do you need to be to ride a 26-inch bike?
Bikes with 26-inch wheels are intended for riders who are between the heights of five feet and the smaller end of six feet. If you’re taller than that, you’ll need a bike with larger tires and greater length (26-inch bikes rarely go much above 24 inches).
What is the best MTB wheel size?
For years, 26″ has been the standard, and they’re currently less expensive and easier to fix or replace than larger ones. The weak rollover capabilities of a 26″ reduces its maneuverability marginally. That is why the 27.5″ wheel is gaining popularity.